Elke Weber, an internationally-known behavioral scientist, will join the faculty at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University in fall 2016.
Weber will be jointly appointed to the Andlinger Center, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and the Department of Psychology. She will be the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, and professor of psychology and public affairs. Weber comes to Princeton from Columbia University, where she has been the Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business, a professor at the Earth Institute and the psychology department, and co-director of the Center for Decision Sciences at the business school and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at the Earth Institute.
Weber’s work straddles the disciplines of psychology and economics. She brings to the Andlinger Center her unique expertise on measuring and modeling the behaviors of individuals and different groups of people as they deal with uncertainty and tradeoffs in decisions that impact the environment, with implications for environmental and energy policy.
Weber’s appointment is part of a push to hire additional faculty who engage in creative lateral thinking and research across multiple disciplines, said Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo, director of the Andlinger Center.
“Elke’s innovative work complements the research we are pursuing on sustainable energy technologies,” Loo said. “Her research can lead to smart energy and environmental policies, and fresh, new insight on why people make the decisions they do.”
Weber has served on several National Academy of Sciences advisory committees on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, was a lead author on the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, and is currently a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences. From 2012 to 2014, she was a visiting research collaborator at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) at Princeton University.
Weber earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada in 1980 and her master’s degree and doctorate on behavior and decision analysis from Harvard University in 1984.
The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment supports a vibrant and expanding program of research and teaching in the areas of sustainable energy, energy efficiency, and environmental protection and remediation. A chief goal of the center is to translate fundamental knowledge into practical solutions that enable sustainable energy production and the protection of the environment from energy-related anthropogenic change.
The center was founded through an extraordinary gift of $100 million from international business leader Gerhard R. Andlinger ’52. A stunning complex of research, teaching, and garden spaces to house the center was completed in 2016.